Today in Middle-Earth: Frodo and Sam make their way into Emyn Muil and capture Gollum, who had been following them. (February 28th. 3019 T.A.)

 They had almost lost count of the hours during which they had climbed and laboured among the barren slopes and stones of the Emyn Muil, sometimes retracing their steps because they could find no way forward, sometimes discovering that they had wandered in a circle back to where they had been hours before.


2013. Túrin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga

is the debut album by one man band Emyn Muil.

Emyn Muil is a Tolkien-themed epic black metal project created by Nartum.

pretty much everything on this album  is severely Tolkien influenced, the band name, the album title, the story about Túrin Turambar, Son of Húrin,  

2013 was a good year for Epic Black Metal. The   Summoning finally released a new album, Caladan Brood exploded onto the scene, and Emyn Muil also released a debut album. With these three bands being mentioned together quite a but in reviews and press (Caladan Brood and Emyn Muil are both now signed to Northern Silence) .

If you’re a fan of Summoning and Caladan Brood you’ve probably already heard this album or at least have experienced the hype around it. After all, it was released two years ago now. Túrin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga is a truly epic album in scope and execution and any fan of the genre will surely find much to love.

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The sketches J.R.R. Tolkien used to build Middle-Earth, in: Wired, October 9th, 2015, by courtesy of the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford:

  1. “Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor”: Tolkien used maps such as this one to compute the exact locations of Frodo and Sam as they walked across Emyn Muil and the Dead Marshes and arrived at Mount Doom, so their arrival coincided with the parallel plotlines of other members of the Fellowship.
  2. “Plan of Shelob’s lair”: Dungeons & Dragons players might have been inspired by this map of Shelob the spider’s den had they known of this drawing’s existence. If only D&D had been invented in 1954, when The Lord of the Rings was published, not 1974.
  3. “Distances and dates in Mordor”: Our quest is how long? In this complicated sketch-map, Tolkien worked out distances between various stops along the quest, such as the fact that it was 20 miles from Osgiliath and the Cross-roads of Minas Morgul, just to the west of Mordor.
  4. “The ‘First Map’ of Middle-earth”: This was Tolkien’s master reference map. His son Christopher Tolkien called it “strange, battered, fascinating, extremely complicated.” Its layers of sheets and corrections “reacted,” he said, to the story in progress.
  5. “Earliest map of the Shire”: This map reveals Tolkien’s creative process. The blue and red dashed lines show Frodo, Sam, and Pippin’s route. Faint pencil marks update place-name changes, and reveal other notes about his Middle-earth still under development.
  6. “Helm’s Deep & the Hornburg": Tolkien doodled on almost anything he could get his hands on. Here, he drew this view of Helm’s Deep, the fortress retreat of the Rohirrim people, on a half-used page of an Oxford examination booklet.
  7. “Moria West Gate": This colored pencil drawing of the Doors of Durin, the secret entrance to the mines of Moria with its famous “Speak, friend, and enter” riddle, captures the scale and majesty of the location.The tiny tentacle of the Watcher in the Water, poking out of the water, hints at the Fellowship’s trouble ahead.
  8. “Orthanc (2), 3, (4)“: Tolkien used his illustrations to test ideas for how Middle-earth’s various buildings, places and geological and man-made (and dwarf-, elf-, and hobbit-made) features might appear, and guided how he might describe them in words. Here’s an early, three-part sketch of Saruman’s tower Orthanc, at Isengard.
Frodo and "Smeagol"

He actually starts calling Gollum “Smeagol” almost immediately. When Sam and Frodo capture Gollum in the Emyn Muil, and Frodo sees Gollum for the first time, there’s this pretty great moment where he flashes back to Gandalf’s speech about the pity of Bilbo. And Frodo even says “For now that I see him, I do pity him.” Then in the following paragraphs we see Frodo call him Gollum, and then - soon after - Smeagol.

‘You’re full of wickedness and mischief, Gollum. You will have to come with us, that’s all, while we keep an eye on you. But you must help us, if you can. One good turn deserves another.’

'Yess, yes indeed,’ said Gollum sitting up. 'Nice hobbits! We will come with them. Find them safe paths in the dark, yes we will. And where are they going in these cold hard lands, we wonders, yes we wonders?’…

Frodo looked straight into Gollum’s eyes which flinched and twisted away. 'You know that, or you guess well enough, Smeagol,’ he said quietly and sternly. 'We are going to Mordor, of course. And you know the way there, I believe.’

From what I can tell, as soon as Gollum showed any sign of being helpful or “good” in any way, Frodo started calling him Smeagol.


Climate and Weather in Lord of the Rings

Well, the weather that we see in Lord of the Rings is a product of the location/geography and season. The events of the story span over a year, and they’re traveling through an entire region, so there’s quite a bit of weather going on there.

I think the best way to address this issue is to list where our characters are and when, and then to reference a climate map from Karen Wynn Fonstad’s Atlas of Middle Earth (scroll down to the bottom of the post):

  • September 3018: Traveling from the Shire to Bree
  • October 3018: Traveling from Bree to Rivendell
  • November-December 3018: In Rivendell
  • January 3019: Traveling along the Misty Mountains, then through Moria
  • February 3019: Lorien. Frodo and Sam go through the Emyn Muil. The others travel south to Fangorn/Edoras
  • March 3019: Mostly Rohan or Gondor. Frodo and Sam travel through Dead Marshes, Ithilien, and finally Mordor.
  • April - July 3019: Gondor
  • August 3019: The hobbits travel from Gondor to Rohan, and then to Isengard.
  • September 3019: The hobbits go from Isengard to Rivendell.
  • October 3019: Rivendell - Bree
  • November 3019: The Shire

(Now, as for the movie. I think weather/climate was an important part of set design for several of the locations. For example, the Shire is basically shown in perpetual spring/summer (even though, at the end of Return of the King, it should be near winter.) And some locations - like mountains - will always have different weather patterns than the surrounding region (such as being covered in snow, even in spring/summer months.) Lorien, too, is said to have milder weather than the surrounding area because of Galadriel and her ring of power.)

SOURCES: LOTR, LOTR Appendices, Karen Wynn Fonstad’s Atlas of Middle Earth